Mets aim to seal series win over Brewers

NEW YORK -- A pair of teams looking to continue their recent run of strong starting pitching will face off Wednesday night when the New York Mets host the Milwaukee Brewers in the third game of a four-game series at Citi Field.

The Mets ensured themselves at least a split of the series Tuesday night when Jay Bruce delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the 12th inning to cap a 5-4 victory.

New York (23-27) has won three straight overall while the Brewers (27-25) have lost seven of nine.

The Mets' Jacob deGrom (4-1, 3.23 ERA) will oppose the Brewers' Junior Guerra (0-0, 3.12 ERA) in a battle of right-handers on Wednesday.

Both deGrom and Guerra will be looking to follow in the footsteps of their rotation mates. The Mets rank 28th in the majors with a 4.76 ERA, but New York starters -- including Tyler Pill, who allowed one run over 5 1/3 innings in his first major league start Tuesday night -- have compiled a 1.93 ERA in the past five games.

"We're starting to get our guys back to where they belong," Mets manager Terry Collins said Tuesday. "I think all the guys are comfortable with the fact that, hey, we've ironed out all the kinks. And now it's just keep charging and not worry about what happened yesterday or last week or last month."

For the Brewers, Zach Davies allowed two runs over five innings Tuesday to complete a turn through the rotation in which the starters produced a 2.37 ERA in five games. The recent strong effort by Milwaukee starters has allowed manager Craig Counsell to lessen the load on his relievers, who are averaging 3.7 innings per game.

"I think we're sitting in a pretty good place with all these guys," Counsell said of the bullpen on Monday afternoon. "It's really the quality of their innings (from the starters). That is more important, that you get quality innings from them as much as the length in the game."

DeGrom earned the victory last Friday when he allowed one run and struck out 10 over a season-high 8 1/3 innings as the Mets beat the host Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1. It was the longest start of the year for a New York pitcher.

DeGrom is 3-1 with a 2.92 ERA in six career starts against the Brewers.

Guerra didn't factor into the decision last Friday, when he allowed one run over 5 2/3 innings in the Brewers' 4-2, 10-inning loss to the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks. It was the first major league appearance since April 3 for Guerra, who sustained a right calf injury during his Opening Day start.

Guerra has made one start against the Mets and didn't factor into the decision last June 10, when he gave up one run over 6 2/3 innings in the Brewers' 2-1, 11-inning loss at Miller Park.

Milwaukee's Orlando Arcia will look to extend a career-high, 10-game hitting streak after going 3-for-6 on Tuesday. On the flip side, Brewers first baseman Marcus Thames ended an 0-for-19 skid when he went 2-for-4 in the extra-inning loss.
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